Our volunteer at the Rescue Center Joanne Stournara updates us on the events in October and November 2017.
‘Any job very well done that has been carried out by a person who is fully dedicated is always a source of inspiration.’ Carlos Ghosn
After a very busy and difficult summer season, things at the RC began to calm down a bit in October and November. By this I mean that only SEVEN new injured turtles were admitted during the two-month period, while TEN rehabilitated turtles were released! That is truly a success story, and would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the RC Volunteers, both day volunteers and long-term volunteers. I’m sure that if the turtles could talk, they would thank you and express their respect, gratitude and admiration.
On 13 October 2017, ‘Minodora’, arrived from Lefkada with buoyancy issues. The female loggerhead, whose carapace measures 67.0 cm and who weighs 33.5 kilos, also had an old head injury. The turtle was rescued and given first aid by the Animal Care Lefkas group, who then sent her to the RC for rehabilitation and further treatment. Many thanks to them for their help and collaboration in saving this turtle.
‘Joufflu’ (whose name means ‘fat cheeks’ in French) arrived at the RC on 13 October 2017. The loggerhead, whose carapace length is 84.5 cm and who weighs 69.0 kilos, had two ingested hooks and line. The fishing line was successfully removed, and (based on X-rays), the two hooks are passing through his body naturally. He is recovering well and is expected to be released shortly. The turtle was rescued and given first aid by the Kefalonia Wildlife Sense. Many thanks to the group for their continued collaboration with the RC.
On 14 October 2017, ‘Sofaki’, was found floating in shallow water at nearby Agios Cosmas beach. The loggerhead, whose carapace measures 36.5 cm and who weighs 33.5 kilos, had carapace injuries to the left side of her body, which unfortunately have affected her left back flipper. This same turtle had originally arrived at the RC on 15 February 2017 with severe injuries to her left front flipper, likely caused by entanglement with fishing line. Because of the advanced state of infection/decay, the flipper had to be amputated. At the same time, an ingested hook was also removed. The turtle regained her health and was released on 29 July 2017 by boat into the Saronic Bay near Sounion. Her present injuries seem to have been caused by a collision with a boat. Most of them are healing, with the exception of her back left flipper. It seems the muscles in that area were injured by the boat’s propeller. ARCHELON is consulting with veterinarians from abroad to determine if it is possible to remedy this surgically.
On 22 October 2017, ‘Nefeli’ arrived at the RC from Evia. The loggerhead, whose carapace measures 36.5 cm and who weighs 12.5 kilos, had an ingested hook which was removed surgically. The turtle is recovering well.
On 30 October 2017, ‘Aris’ arrived from Corfu. The male loggerhead, whose carapace measures 49.5 cm and who weighs 49.0 kilos, has a very serve head injury deliberately inflicted by human action. The injury is so terrible that the turtle’s brain is visible. Everything possible is being done to treat the injury, but the turtle is not expected to survive.
‘Chrystal’, a female loggerhead, arrived from Preveza on 30 October 2017. The turtle, who weighs 34.0 kilos and whose carapace measures 69.0, has a severe head injury deliberately inflicted by human action. It is unlikely that the turtle will survive. Unfortunately, many of the turtles with severe head injuries come from this area.
On 21 November 2017, a female loggerhead, named ‘Ilianna’ arrived at the RC from Salamina. The turtle, whose carapace measured 73.0 cm and who weighed 40.5 kilos, had a head injury deliberately inflicted by human action. Unfortunately, the turtle died shortly after her arrival as a result of her injuries.
We are happy to report that 11 turtles treated at the RC were successfully rehabilitated and released back into the sea during October and November 2017!
‘Babylon’ had arrived from Lavrio on 17 January 2016 with minor carapace injuries and a broken flipper. The loggerhead was successfully rehabilitated and released by beach at Kakia Thalassa, on 6 October 2017.
‘Eva’, a loggerhead who had arrived on 8 September 2016 from Kalamaria with injuries from a boat collision and a head injury deliberately inflicted by human action, was released by boat into the sea near Kyparissia on 6 October 2017.
‘Hydra’ had been rescued in Pylos and arrived at the RC on 16 April 3017 with flipper and neck injuries. She recovered her heath and was released by boat into the sea near Kyparissia on 6 October 2017.
‘Rika’ arrived at the RC on 22 July 2017 from Naxos with a head injury directly caused by human action. The turtle had been rescued by members of the Naxos Wildlife Protection group, who had given first aid to the turtle before sending her to the RC for rehabilitation. The turtle recovered her health and was returned to Naxos for release at the Liana Hotel Beach in Agios Prokopios on 7 October 2017. Naxos Wildlife Protection has posted two videos of the release, which you can watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqXJeX2v_wQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TokWnOlsgy8 . Many thanks to Naxos Wildlife Protection for rescuing this turtle and for their continued collaboration with ARCHELON.
‘Akeso’, a female loggerhead, arrived at the RC on 16 May 2017 from Rethymno, Crete. The turtle had injuries caused by seal predation. She was successfully rehabilitated and released back into the sea from Kakia Thalassa beach on 11 October 2017.
‘Vaggelis’, another loggerhead rescued by the Naxos Wildlife Sense group, arrived at the RC on 20 September 2017 with two ingested hooks and ingested line. The turtle was successfully treated and rehabilitated, and released on 21 October 2017 from Kakia Thalassa beach.
‘Panos’ had arrived on 16 August 2017 from Larissa with an ingested hook. The turtle was successfully treated and rehabilitated and released back into the sea by boat from Porto Rafti on 31 October 2017. Many thanks to Alexandra Papagiannakou and the Porto Rafti Sailing Club for helping us release ‘Panos’ and two other turtles in October!
‘Antonis/Tony’, a male loggerhead with an ingested hook and fishing line plus injuries caused by entanglement in a fishing net, arrived at the RC on 20 August 2017 from Corfu. The turtle had been rescued and given first aid by the local Corfu group Wildlife Sense before being sent to the RC. The turtle was successfully treated and rehabilitated, and released on 31 October 2017 back into the sea by boat from Porto Rafti. Many thanks to the Wildlife Sense team for their continued collaboration with ARCHELON and to Alexandra Papagiannakou and the Porto Rafti Sailing Club for helping us release ‘Antonis/Tony’ and two other turtles in October!
‘Alkyoni’ had arrived at the RC on 3 September 2017 from the nearby island of Evia with an ingested fishing line. She was successfully treated and rehabilitated, and released back into the sea by boat from Porto Rafti on 31 October 2017. Many thanks to Alexandra Papagiannakou and the Porto Rafti Sailing Club for their continued support and collaboration with ARCHELON.
‘Pavlos’, a loggerhead with a truly horrific neck wound (someone had tried to decapitate the animal) and injuries to its right eye arrived at the RC on 10 September 2017 from Amorgos. Despite the seriousness of the wound, it responded to treatment and healed! The turtle was successfully rehabilitated and released by beach at Kakia Thalassa on 23 November 2017.
‘Amalia (Helios)’, a loggerhead with head injuries deliberated caused by human action, arrived at the RC from Thessaloniki on 14 July 2017. The turtle was originally taken to the Exotic & Wild Animal Unit (Head of unit Ms. N. Komninou) of the veterinary school at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where first aid was administered and a detailed laboratory and clinical examination were made before she was sent to the ARCHELON Rescue Centre for treatment. The turtle was successfully rehabilitated and released back into the sea from Kakia Thalassa beach on 29 November 2017. Many thanks to Ms. Komninou and her staff for caring for the turtle, and to Alexandra Papagiannakou and the Porto Rafti Sailing Club for helping us release ‘Amalia (Helios)’.
Many thanks to:
- all the people, animal conservation groups, ARCHELON Rescue Network members, Hellenic Port Police, and concerned people who helped rescue and care for these injured turtles,
- the dedicated local volunteers who help maintain the RC equipment, facilities, buildings/wagons, grounds, etc.
- the visitors to the RC for their support and interest in helping endangered sea turtles.
Did you know...
Up until mid-September, rehabilitated turtles were usually released by beach or boat into the Saronic Bay close to Cape Sounion. That location was chosen because it was close to the open sea, hopefully giving the turtles a chance to avoid potential contact with fishing and other boats in the busy Saronic Bay. However, in September 2017, an environmental catastrophe occurred when an oil transport ship sunk, causing tremendous damage to the sea and the beaches in the area. (For a report on that disaster, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/14/greek-oil-spill-forces-closure-athens-beaches.) As a result, turtles are now released from the Kakia Thalassa beach on the east (Aegean Sea) coast of the Attica peninsula.
Scheduled releases are posted on the ARCHELON FB website page. Beach releases are open to the public, and are a wonderful event for people of all ages to be a part of.